New info has emerged revealing the volatile past of George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood watch captain that shot and killed Trayvon Martin inside a Sanford, Florida gated community complex.
In an investigation done by Reuters, a different portrait of Zimmerman’s past displayed a series of incidents in the community in the months preceding the Martin shooting.
As Reported by Reuters:
Based on extensive interviews with relatives, friends, neighbors, schoolmates and co-workers of Zimmerman in two states, law enforcement officials, and reviews of court documents and police reports, the story sheds new light on the man at the center of one of the most controversial homicide cases in America.
The one time insurance-fraud investigator comes from a deeply Catholic background and was taught in his early years to do right by those less fortunate. He was raised in a racially integrated household and himself has black roots through an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather – the father of the maternal grandmother who helped raise him.
A criminal justice student who aspired to become a judge, Zimmerman also concerned himself with the safety of his neighbors after a series of break-ins committed by young African-American men.
Though civil rights demonstrators have argued Zimmerman should not have prejudged Martin, one black neighbor of the Zimmermans said recent history should be taken into account.
“Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. I’m black, OK?” the woman said, declining to be identified because she anticipated backlash due to her race. She leaned in to look a reporter directly in the eyes. “There were black boys robbing houses in this neighborhood,” she said. “That’s why George was suspicious of Trayvon Martin.”
The investigation delved deep into Zimmerman’s life before the Trayvon killing, going as far back as when his parents first met in 1975.
In 2004, Zimmerman partnered with an African-American friend and opened up an Allstate insurance satellite office.
Then came 2005, and a series of troubles. Zimmerman’s business failed, he was arrested, and he broke off an engagement with a woman who filed a restraining order against him.
That July, Zimmerman was charged with resisting arrest, violence, and battery of an officer after shoving an undercover alcohol-control agent who was arresting an under-age friend of Zimmerman’s at a bar. He avoided conviction by agreeing to participate in a pre-trial diversion program that included anger-management classes.
As for now, Zimmerman is in hiding and awaits the trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin.
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